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Dublin: 2°C Thursday 21 January 2021

A 'deep' partial eclipse of the moon takes place this evening

There won’t be another one for 2 years, so Astronomy Ireland is asking people to send photos of the eclipse into them.

Image: Shutterstock/Ondrej Chvatal

A PARTIAL ECLIPSE of the moon is to be visible from Ireland this evening – on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. 

The eclipse will start as the moon rises in Ireland – just before 10pm.

Astronomy Ireland is inviting people to come to their headquarters in Rosemount Business Park near Blanchardstown to use their telescopes to see it, and asking others to send in their photos of the eclipse.

This is a “deep” partial eclipse of the moon, as two-thirds of it will pass into the Earth’s shadow by 10.30pm this evening.

“As the sky darkens and the moon rises we will get our best views of the eclipse from Ireland” said David Moore, founder of Astronomy Ireland.

The moon then slowly moves out of the eclipse until it ends at 11.59pm.

“This eclipse occurs exactly 50 years to the day that Irishman Neil Armstrong was launched to the moon to make his historic ‘small step/giant leap’ a few days later.

It’s as if the cosmos knew there was an important anniversary to alert the world to and organised this eclipse on this historic date to kick off Apollo 11 celebrations!

Ireland won’t see another eclipse of the moon for over two years, so everyone is urged to check the sky from 10pm to midnight, even if there are clouds around.

Due to its significance, Astronomy Ireland is asking Irish people to report their location and what they see to the Astronomy Ireland magazine which will be compiling a special Irish report in the next issue.

Here’s their advice on what to look out for:

When the moon is deepest inside the Earth’s shadow, the dark ‘eclipsed’ side should be glowing the dim red colour that gives total eclipses their ‘blood moon’ name. There could be other colours too.

The whole eclipse from 10pm to midnight is visible to the naked eye but binoculars will give an even better view, if you have them handy.

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